27 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND

Interlaken is one of the most incredible regions in Switzerland, situated between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz this iconic town is a must-visit during your time in Switzerland. I visited this region for two weeks and while that might seem like a long time, it’s actually because it is a very central location and you can make day-trips to nearby hotspots like Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Wengen, Thun, and Brienz. I loved having a great home base for two weeks and exploring all of the adventurous things to do in Interlaken and the surrounding towns. Throughout my time hiking, exploring in and nearby Interlaken, I experienced some awesome activities, villages, trails, and viewpoints so I’ve put together this Interlaken Travel Guide so that you can choose some Interlaken activities for you and your family when you visit the beautiful town of Interlaken. 

In this blog post, you will find a description of each of the things to do in Interlaken and some photos I took as well as a link to the individual blog post I wrote about each of the activities in Interlaken. You can click on that link for a more detailed review of that activity including maps, starting points, how to get there, photos, directions, and a short story about my experience with that particular activity in Interlaken. Some of the activities on this list are right in the heart of Interlaken, but a couple of the hikes and activities are near Interlaken but not quite in the center of the region. I was based in Interlaken when I did all of these hikes and activities but reached all of the trails by public transport so you will be able to reach any of these activities or trails if you are based in Interlaken as well. If you are wondering about where exactly to stay in Interlaken I created this helpful guide, which covers all of the top accommodations: WHERE TO STAY IN INTERLAKEN: A COMPLETE GUIDE

After I’ve gone through all the activities (at the end of the blog post), I’ll share with you details about how to get to Interlaken, a summer vs. winter comparison, and other handy travel tips for Interlaken. 

 

27 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN INTERLAKEN

HARDERGRAT HIKE

The Hardergrat hike has to be somewhere at the top of this list. It’s known as one of the toughest hikes in Interlaken and has to be one of the most dangerous things to do in Interlaken. The trail begins at Brienz and runs along the Brienzersee (Brienz Lake) all the way to Harder Kulm Station. It takes fit hikers about six hours to complete and there are many parts with very, very steep drop-offs. It is for experienced hikers and to be avoided on wet days is the steep cliffs can be unforgiving. It is possible to get the train up at Brienz and then down from Harder Kulm but you will need to hike fast and with determination because if you miss the last train you will be hiking down another 800m of incline. The best route is to get the early train (it’s also half price) at Brienz and then work your way to Harder-Kulm Station and make sure you catch the last train down. Alternatively, if you are a hiking machine, you can hike up to Brienzer Rothorn, along the ridge to Harder Kulm Station and then down to Interlaken for a total of almost 30-kilometers and 3000m+ of incline throughout the day. Good luck with the journey.

 

PARAGLIDING OVER INTERLAKEN

There’s one activity in Interlaken that seems to be a popular attraction with the younger tourists and that is paragliding. I was no different and decided to book an Interlaken paragliding experience, which turned out to be an epic activity. The morning begins in the town before you drive up the mountain in a van and then prepare the gill up on a hilltop, far above Interlaken. It’s a tandem jump, so you don’t need any experience and your guide/instructor does all the work. Basically you just start running down the hill and then … lift-off. Before you know it, you are flying past Harder Kulm’s viewpoint and circling over the town of Interlaken. It was awesome to see the rich blue of the river that runs through the center of the town and it was one of my favorite things to do in Interlaken. If you want to check out and book this activity in advance with the same tour operator as I did you can click the link below.

Click to book this activity now: Interlaken Tandem Paragliding Experience

Here’s a video I made from my Paragliding activity in Interlaken:

 

SCHYNIGE PLATTE TO FIRST HIKE

The hike from Schynige Platte to First via Faulhorn is among the top things to do in Interlaken with an epic view around every turn. Expect a long day on the legs with 16km of the trail ahead of you and nearly 1000m of incline. The soup and coffee at Faulhorn with magical views make it all worthwhile.

This hike is quite special because it has views of Brienzersee along the way before heading up past alpine lakes to the Fualhorn Mountain Hut. I did this hike near Interlaken after the first snow of the season and it was just stunning. It’s also a great hike for the middle of the summer when there is now snow, which would be a unique experience as well.

This epic hike near Interlaken is not extremely difficult with very few areas of concern for moderately experienced hikers. While 1000m of incline is substantial, there are no points where the trail is overly exposed. Many parts of the trail are rocky and involve a tiny bit of clambering but you never need to use your hands or climb.

The hike took me a total time of 5 hours. It could be done in a little less time, especially if you don’t summit Oberberg and Faulhorn but that is the whole point of the hike! I’d bargain for 5-7 hours for the total trip and you will enjoy a coffee and soup at Faulhorn and have lots of spare time to enjoy your hike. The main point to remember is that (at least during summer) the last cable car down from First to Grindelwald is at 5:30 so you need to leave from Schynige Platte before midday to make that. If you miss it, there is a 2-hour trail down to Grindelwald that you will have to take on tired legs.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: SCHYNIGE PLATTE HIKE TO FAULHORN & FIRST

 

EPIC CANYON SWING IN INTERLAKEN

I think of all the activities I did in Interlaken, this was the most exhilarating. What an adrenaline rush! Basically you get picked up from your hotel in Interlaken and then enjoy a stunning drive to Grindelwald with views of the Swiss Alps throughout the journey. Once you arrive you will be fitted with gear and walk to the top of the canyon. You then literally drop into the canyon in freefall and swing through the canyon. It’s basically like a bungee jump but you are upright and there is no whiplash. I’ve done bungee jumping and actually enjoyed this much more, it was the same adrenaline rush as bungee jumping but without the major whiplash. After the jump, you are driven back to Interlaken and dropped at our hotel. This is a once-in-a-lifetime type of activity and easily the most exhilarating thing to do in Interlaken. If you want to book this activity in advance with the same tour operator as I did you can click the link below.

Click to book this activity now: Canyon Swing 2.5 hr Tour 

Here’s a video I made from my Canyon Swing activity in Interlaken:

 

MOUNT NIESEN HIKE ‘THE SWISS PYRAMID’

Mount Niesen was a hike I hadn’t heard too much about but it delivered in so many different ways! The cable car is so steep it’s an exciting ride in itself, the views on the panorama trail to the summit were incredible, and then to be above the clouds at Niesen Kulm Berghaus enjoying the sunset was out of this world. It’s just a train ride from Interlaken and I did it as a day-trip from Interlaken.

Because of its distinct pyramid shape, this peak sticks out above the clouds when the conditions are right and with a fancy mountain hut restaurant on top of the peak, it is one of the sights to behold in Thun, which is just one town down the line from Interlaken. Below, in the photos, you will see the pyramid shadow it casts at sunset. This was by far one of my favorite Interlaken hiking experiences as I got lucky with the clouds and an epic sunset on my solo mission.

The distance from Mulenen to Niesen Kulm is 7.7km or you can do as I did and catch the cable car to Schwandegg station, which is halfway up and then hikes from Schwandegg to Niesen Kulm, which took me 1 hour and 13 minutes to complete the 4.8 kilometers with an incline of 646 meters. The recommended time is 2-3 hours if you are coasting.

The trail is quite easy and there are no moments of serious exposure. The incline is the hardest part about this hike and if you aren’t confident, starting halfway at Schwandegg is advised because from Mulenen it is 1700m of climbing, which is a bit too much for a beginner but fine for regular hikers.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: HIKING MOUNT NIESEN ‘THE SWISS PYRAMID’

 

CANYONEERING TOUR IN INTERLAKEN

Canyoning or Canyoneering as some call it is an epic activity in Interlaken if you are keen for an adventure. You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to a local canyon where things will start to get interesting. You will have to jump, crawl, float, and pass through narrow, tall gorges on this canyoning experience. You don’t need to be a great swimmer as you will be in a lifejacket but an adventurous spirit is required as there as some small jumps to navigate the gorges. This is one of those perfect things to do in Interlaken if you have a big bunch of friends or the whole family wants to do an activity together. If you want to book this activity in advance with the same tour operator as I did you can click the link below.

Click to book this activity now: Canyoneering Tour in Interlaken

 

MURREN TO GIMMELWALD VIA FERRATA

The Via Ferrata from Murren to Gimmelwald is one of the most epic adventures in Switzerland. Traverse ladders and steps on the edge of a cliff overlooking Lauterbrunnen, but don’t worry you are strapped in with a harness! This is one of the best activities within a day-trip of Interlaken.

For those who don’t know what a Via Ferrata is, it’s basically a series of ladders, steps, and rock climbing that leads you up a wall. You are wearing a harness and clip into a strong wire at the start of the Via Ferrata. From that point, you are always clipped in with at least one clip.

This is one of the most exhilarating hiking experiences you can have while based in Interlaken. You will literally be hanging off the wall over a 500-meter drop down into Lauterbrunnen Valley. You up for it?

I’ve added the instructions to get to the start of the Murren Via Ferrata below.

  • From Interlaken, you will need to catch the train Lauterbrunnen
  • Once in Lauterbrunnen take the Grutschalp cable car, which is right next to the train station. This will take you all the way up to Grutschalp station where you can switch onto the historic, Murren Railway.
  • The Murren Railway is one of the most scenic rides in Switzerland with views of Eiger and the surrounding peaks along the journey.
  • Once you arrive at the Murren Train Station turn left out of the station and walk for 10-minutes past Hotel Edelweiss and you will arrive at the sports chalet on your right and Intersport on your left for the hiring of the gear.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: THE MURREN TO GIMMELWALD VIA FERRATA

 

 

TAKE THE HARDERBAHN (FUNICULAR) TO HARDER KULM VIEWPOINT

If you are staying in Interlaken there is no doubt you will visit the Harder Kulm viewpoint and unless you are a hiking machine you will catch the Harderbahn Funicular from Interlaken to the top of the ridge to the viewpoint. Harder Kulm is a local mountain, which is 1,321 meters high overlooking Interlaken and Unterseen. The funicular trip up to the summit takes you through the forest with glimpses back of the lake. It is one of the steepest Funiculars in Switzerland so it’s quite a peaceful but also very exciting trip. 

At the Harder Kulm summit, you will reach the viewpoint and you can enjoy expansive views across Interlaken and to the Swiss Alps. There’s a restaurant and coffee shop so you can hang out up the top and take it all in. It’s possible to do a short forest walk or you can even use this as the starting point for a big hike like I did such as the Augstmatthorn Hike

If you want to book this train trip in advance as I did you can click the link below.

Click to book the return train ticket now: Harder Kulm Round-Trip Funicular Ticket from Interlaken

 

BAREGG HUT HIKE WITH OVERNIGHT STAY & HIKE TO SCHRECKHORN HUT

Baregg Hut (Bareghutte) is perched on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the lower Grindelwald Glacier. It’s just a 3km walk from Pfingstegg and is a great place for an overnight stay and a basecamp to hiking to the Schreckhorn Hut (Schreckhornhutte). I caught the train from Interlaken to Grindelwald and began from there and returned the next day. My hostel let me leave my bags in their lockers for free.

The trail follows along the edge of the cliff, alongside the Lower Grindelwald Glacier… or at least where the glacier used to be. This hike shows you exactly how much the glacier has receded in the last century and a half. I arrived at the hut in the late afternoon and dropped my gear off in the dormitory, got changed, and went outside to enjoy the scenery. The dormitory-style rooms have nice bunk beds with comfortable mattresses and brilliant views even from the bunks themselves. Inside the mountain hut, you will find showers, bathrooms, a dining room, and lots of areas to hang out, play cards, and enjoy the cozy atmosphere. 

The hike from Baregg Hut to Schreckhorn Hut is a bit more challenging than the route from Pfingstegg to Baregg Hut. It’s a 12km round-trip hike back to Baregg with over 1000m of incline. 

Aside from the ladders and cables, you do have to climb 1000+ meters, which is a challenge in itself so definitely gear up for an adventure! The views of the glacier that are within touching distance throughout the trail make it all worth it!

The distance from Pfingstegg to Baregg Hut is just 2.75km. However, the next day the hike to Schreckhorn and return to Baregg Hut is 11.8 kilometers and then the 2.75km return to Pfingstegg. So all up for this expedition it is 17.3km. For more info about booking a night, you can visit the Baregg Hut Website.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: BAREGG HUT HIKE WITH OVERNIGHT STAY & HIKE TO SCHRECKHORN HUT

 

SCHYNIGE PLATTE TO FIRST RETURN TRAIN TRIP

The trains in Switzerland are something special but this train trip is a little different. On the journey from Wilderswil (one-stop out of Interlaken) to Schynige Platte, you will ride a restored, traditional cogwheel train up to the scenic Schynige Platte Station. It will be one of the most scenic train trips you take in Switzerland and possibly one of the slowest. This is about the view not the supreme Swiss technology.

Once you reach Schynige Platte you can wander through the Alpine Garden and take in the 650+ plant species and adventure along some of the moderate hiking trails around the plateau. I took the train with a one-way ticket and hiked all the way through to First but most people take the train up, explore and wander and then take the train back to Wilderswil. You will have to catch the local train from Interlaken to Wilderswil Station and then board the cogwheel train from there. 

If you want to book this train trip in advance as I did you can click the link below.

Click to book the return train ticket now: Schynige Platte Coghweel Train Ticket Return Trip

 

THE EIGER TRAIL HIKE: EIGERGLETSCHER TO ALPIGLEN

The Eiger Trail hike is one of the most popular routes in Switzerland because the path leads hikers directly under the world-famous Eiger North Face Wall, which is renowned as one of the toughest climbs in the world. This is one of the most famous attractions near Interlaken.

The trail starts off with 200m of incline, although it is spread over a couple of kilometers and is nothing too strenuous. At this point, you cannot see Eiger, but the views across the valley and the towering glacial mountains are incredible and there is something to gawk at in every direction.

It isn’t long before you will reach the Eiger viewing area. It’s about 2km into the trail and there will likely be a little gathering of people and possibly some local cows. Here you will look up towards Eiger Mountain and if you read the signs, you can even identify the path the climbers use to scale the North Face wall of Eiger. 

The distance from Eigergletscher Train Station to Alpiglen along the Eiger Trail is 6.5km. The hike takes about 2.5 hours although if you went straight through without taking photos or stopping it would be well under two hours. It could be run in well under an hour.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: THE EIGER TRAIL HIKE: EIGERGLETSCHER TO ALPIGLEN

 

SKYDIVE OVER INTERLAKEN FROM A HELICOPTER

Can you think of a bigger adrenaline rush? Imagine enjoying the incredible views over Interlaken from a helicopter before tandem-skydiving out the door. Well, it’s possible!

You will fly up to 15,000ft in the helicopter before free-falling from the chopper with views of the Swiss Alps. You don’t need any prior experience as it is a tandem jump, so you are harnessed to an experienced professional who will make sure you can enjoy the experience and they make sure you have a safe landing back in Interlaken before you dropping you back at your hotel.

If you want to book this activity in advance there’s only one tour operator who provides the helicopter skydive.

Click to book this activity now: Interlaken Helicopter Skydive Experience

 

HIKING TO FAULHORN SUMMIT VIA FIRST & BACHALPSEE

Bachalpsee is one of the most stunning alpine lakes in Switzerland, surrounded by wildflowers and adorned with an incredible backdrop of glacial mountains. The beauty of the Bachalpsee Lake is that because there is a cable car to First, it just a one-hour trek from the First station to the lake, despite being located at 2,265m in altitude. In terms of having it all… this is up there as one of the most all-around impressive things to do near Interlaken!

Hike Distance: After the cable car to First the hike from First to Bachalpsee was 3km one way and you will need to hike back so 6km in total.

Hike Duration: 2-hours of moving time. With breaks, swim, and photos, total time was 3 hours return.

Hike Difficulty: Very easy. Dirt trail the whole way. Some incline but nothing too major just 188m up and 188m down.

Hike Incline: 188m

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: HIKING TO FAULHORN SUMMIT VIA FIRST & BACHALPSEE

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: HIKING TO FAULHORN SUMMIT VIA FIRST & BACHALPSEE

 

1-HOUR SCENIC BOAT CRUISE ON LAKE BRIENZ

One of the most relaxing things to do in Interlaken is to get on board a luxury boat and take a tour of Lake Brienz. Along the way, you will pass by the unique fishing village of Iseltwald with constant panoramic views of the Bernese Oberland and Swiss Alps. This boat tour is the perfect way to end your day after your other Interlaken sightseeing activities. 

Onboard you will be able to purchase some beers and wines to bring a beautiful end to your day as you cruise peacefully around Lake Brienz. If you want to book this activity in advance you can do so by clicking the link below.

Click to book this activity now: 1- Hour Scenic Lake Brienz Boat Cruise

 

MORGENBERGHORN HIKE: BEST VIEW OF LAKE THUN

The Morgenberghorn Hike is a challenging trail with 1300m of incline but the panorama point has the best view in the region view on Lake Thun! This hike is quite near Interlaken and as you will see, I actually walked all the way back to Interlaken, that’s just how near it is. When people ask me what to do in Interlaken for a moderate adventure, I always suggest Morgenberghorn. It’s not an easy hike but safe and not too long.

It’s a fun little trail up to a viewpoint that overlooks Lake Thun and even has views of ‘The Big Three’ when the clouds clear. Those are Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau.

The total hike distance was 19km kilometers, which includes the summit of Morgenberghorn and then continuing on all the way to Wilderswil. That is the route I took but you can make it shorter in distance by returning to Aescherid or other nearby descents. You then add on 1.5 hours of transit back to Interlaken if you are staying there so timewise it is similar. It just depends if you want to walk back to Interlaken or take the train.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: MORGENBERGHORN HIKE: BEST VIEW OF LAKE THUN

 

VISIT THE FAMOUS JUNGFRAUJOCH ‘TOP OF EUROPE’

One of the most popular things to do near Interlaken is to take the day-trip from Interlaken on a train excursion to Jungfraujoch. At 3,454 meters, the Jungfraujoch is known as the ‘Top of Europe’. While it isn’t the highest point in Europe it is where you will find Europe’s highest railway station and post office.

The trip from Interlaken is breathtaking as you take the train from Interlaken to Kleine Scheidegg and then on to Wengen and then to Jungfraujoch. It is a 90-minute journey but it is scenic and more of a relaxing sightseeing experience rather than a long transit.

Once you arrive at Jungfraujoch you can visit the ice sculptures in the Ice Palace or enjoy the Jungfrau Panorama, which is an iMax-style theatre. The Sphinx Observatory is an international research station where visitors can take in an incredible view of the Aletsch Glacier and surrounding Alps. 

From May to October, you can try tubing, skiing, sledding, and snowboarding or even test out the Zipline if you are up for some activities. If not, sit back and enjoy the view from the multiple viewing platforms with a coffee and meal from the restaurant. If you want to check out and book this activity in advance you can click the link below, which includes activity entry and round-trip train ticket discount from Interlaken.

Click to book this activity now: Jungfraujoch ‘Top of Europe’ Train & Attraction Pass

 

HIKING TO DOSSEN HUT VIA ROSENLAUI GLACIER

The Dossen Hut hike is an epic 19km T4 Difficulty route that starts off at Rosenlaui Glacier, leads you up to the mountain hut and down to Innertkirchen. This one requires a train and a bus from Interlaken but I made it all work as an Interlaken day-trip.

The hike begins by taking you through a canyon and a number of waterfalls before you begin the T4 route up the rocky slopes. Ladders, ropes, and pegs lead you up the scramble to the mountain hut where you have an epic view of the Rosenlaui Glacier. You then return through the canyon on the other side of the ridge before catching the train back to Interlaken. Rosenlaui Glacier is one of the most unique places to see near Interlaken.

The suggested duration is about 8 hours from Rosenlaui Hotel to Dossen Hut and down to Innertkirchen. However, as you will see in this blog post, I did the hike in 5 hours but also had to run an extra 5km from Innertkirchen to Meiringen Train Station. So it is possible in less than 5 hours but likely it will take 5-10 hours for most hikers. 

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: HIKING TO DOSSEN HUT VIA ROSENLAUI GLACIER

 

TAKE THE CABLE CAR TO THE ‘007’ SCHILTHORN (PIZ GLORIA) VIEWPOINT

If you are staying in Interlaken, this is one of the most epic viewpoints within a day-trip of Interlaken. At 2,960 meters of altitude, the Schilthorn is one of the best views in the region accessible by cable car. It is possible to hike up to the Schilthorn as detailed later in this blog post, but for this option, we will discuss the cable car up and down.

The Schilthorn viewpoint is famous because it was depicted as a lair in the 1969 James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and even today, it is very Bond-themed at the summit as a bit of an extra tourist attraction on top of the view itself. I hiked up to Schilthorn and took the cable car down. At the summit, you have epic views of the ‘Big 3’, which are Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau (another epic viewpoint). There’s a full-service restaurant at the top where you can get lunch and drinks while you take in a view that is perfect year-round and actually quite magical in the winter.

Click to book this activity now: Schilthorn Round-Trip Cable Car Ticket from Stechelberg

 

THE ROTSTOCK VIA FERRATA AT EIGER, GRINDELWALD

The Rotstock Via Ferrata is an epic climb right next to the famous North Face Wall of Eiger. Using a harness, stairs, and metal stairs you can climb 400m of incline to the 360-degree panoramic viewpoint.

For those who don’t know what a Via Ferrata is, it’s basically a series of ladders, steps, and rock climbing that leads you up a wall. You are wearing a harness and clip into a strong wire at the start of the Via Ferrata. From that point, you are always clipped in with at least one clip.

The total hike distance was 5km from the start of the Eiger Trail and up to the summit and then back down to Eigergletscher Station. It’s not possible in the winter to do this safely but it’s definitely one of the top things to do near Interlaken in the summer.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: THE ROTSTOCK VIA FERRATA AT EIGER, GRINDELWALD

 

STAND-UP PADDLEBOARD TOUR ON LAKE BRIENZ

Lake Brienz is a stunning, emerald-colored lake that sits right next to Interlaken. A unique way to explore the lake is on a Stand-Up Paddle Board tour. It’s quite a relaxing activity and one of the more unique things to do in Interlaken. Stand-up paddling is quite easy and there is no experience required. Because it is a lake, the water is very calm making it a peaceful paddle. Your instructor and guide will lead you across the lake on a tour of the region but don’t worry it isn’t such a long journey, it’s just enough for a great summer adventure.

Click to book this activity now: Stand-up Paddleboard Tour on Lake Brienz

 

THE NIEDERHORN HIKE: A BEAUTIFUL RIDGE WALK

The Niederhorn is a popular summit with lots of action at the time, highlighted by incredible views of Lake Thun, which is very close to Interlaken. It’s possible to ride up or down with the cable car but exploring the Niederhorn ridge hike at the summit is a must! A sightseeing trip from Interlaken to the Niederhorn is a must if you are on a family trip as this ticks the boxes for kids and adults for a great day-trip from Interlaken.

At the summit, we hung out on the ridge that overlooks the western end of Lake Thun and was all by ourselves the entire time. We watched as paragliders took off (I watched that one from my drone, which was a little scary), scoped out Lake Thun, and looked at the small huts in the valley below.

The way we did the hike was to take a cable car to the summit and then hike along the ridge and then down to Beatenberg Station. This was 7 kilometers. It can be done in reverse or as an entire loop for 14kms.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: THE NIEDERHORN HIKE: A BEAUTIFUL RIDGE WALK

 

KAYAK TOUR OF THE TURQUOISE LAKE BRIENZ

This half-day kayak tour is one of the most fun things to do in Interlaken in the summer and it’s open for all abilities. Your guide will help you learn how to paddle and also capture some epic photos for you along your paddle around the lake. The tour begins in Bönigen on Lake Brienz and then you will paddle across the River Lütschine towards the northern shore where you will find beautiful cliffs and the 12th-century Ringgenberg Castle. Keep your eyes out for some secluded beaches along the way.

The tour is a 3-hour itinerary with two hours out on the water in total. Keep in mind this tour runs from May til October and is a perfect Interlaken activity for the summer. You can do it in the winter and wetsuits are provided but I highly suggest choosing this activity in the summer.

Click to book this activity now: Kayak Tour of the Turquoise Lake Brienz

 

HIKING TO GLECKSTEIN HUT AND CHRINNENHORN PEAK

Gleckstein Hut (Glecksteinhutte) sits above Grindelwald with incredible views down into the valley, while dramatic glaciers loom behind in the mountains. It’s an incredible place to stay the night and enjoy the sunrise and sunset. A few hundred meters above the Gleckstein Hut is the Chrinnerhorn summit, a peak accessible without mountaineering experience but with epic views down towards Gleckstein Hut and over Grindelwald.

The suggested duration is 3 hours and 50 minutes according to the sign but I went up in 1 hour and 34 minutes and came down the next day in 58 minutes. The path is a red and white trail rating but has a few exposed areas. There is cable wherever the trail is exposed. 1,100m of incline will challenge many but there were quite a few older hikers making it up the hut so a slow and steady approach will mean most are capable. For more information about the Gleckstein Hut you can check the Gleckstein Hut website here.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: HIKING TO GLECKSTEIN HUT AND CHRINNENHORN PEAK

 

SCENIC JET BOAT RIDE ON LAKE BRIENZ

Interlaken is quite a peaceful place but this tour really shakes that up. Are you ready for an adrenaline rush on one of the most thrilling tours and exciting things to do in Interlaken? You can get your adrenaline fix on this jet boat tour to the famous Giessbach Waterfalls from Bönigen near Interlaken. It will be a wet and wild ride on the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz as your professional and experienced captain tours you around the entire lake. You’ll see secluded beaches, castles, waterfalls, and be hilding onto your seat the whole time! This is highly recommended and one of the top activities in Interlaken for thrill-seekers.

Click to book this activity now: Scenic Jet Boat Ride on Lake Brienz

 

MURREN TO SCHILTHORN HIKE (PIZ GLORIA)

The hike from Murren to Schilthorn is challenging with 1600m of altitude climbed throughout the trail to the Piz Gloria summit where James Bond ‘007’ was filmed. At the summit, you can reward yourself after the long hike with a warm bowl of soup at the revolving restaurant, which lets you take in the 360-degree panoramic views as you enjoy your meal. From Interlaken, you will want to leave quite early to give yourself enough time to do the hike and get back for what is a very possible day-hike from Interlaken.

The trail from Murren to Rotstockhutte is relatively easy. Most of the way is a dirt path although there are some sections that are a mixture of rock and path. Most families will easily navigate their way to Rotstockhutte with only 300-400m of elevation.

Rotstockhutte to Schilthorn is very steep. You collect over 1000-meters of an incline in just a few kilometers, which means it is just straight up the mountain. Here you clamber over rocks and are constantly heading uphill. However, it is quite safe and there are no drop-offs. If you can manage the steep incline there isn’t much more to worry about.

It’s 12.9km Total distance from Murren to Schilthorn mountain summit. If you want to hike down you will need to add a few more kilometers but we caught the Schilthornbahn down to Murren, which was a nice way to return after a long day on the legs.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: MURREN TO SCHILTHORN HIKE

 

RAFTING ON THE LUTSCHINE RIVER

If you are up for an adventure, I have one of the most adventurous things to do in Interlaken lined up for you here. This is the rafting tour along the Lütschine River. You will be navigating the raging waters and river rapids with a backdrop of the Swiss Alps. That’s not an experience you get to try every day! The class III-IV rapids will test your skills but don’t worry this is a beginner-friendly tour with an experienced guide leading your group.

Click to book this activity now: Rafting Tour on the Lutschine River

 

HIKING TO LAKE BACHALPSEE FROM GRINDELWALD/FIRST

Bachalpsee is one of the most stunning alpine lakes in Switzerland, surrounded by wildflowers and adorned with an incredible backdrop of glacial mountains. The beauty of the Bachalpsee Lake is that because there is a cable car to First, it just a one-hour trek from the First station to the lake, despite being located at 2,265m in altitude. Bachalpsee is one of the most popular places of interest near Interlaken and you will find quite a few tourists venturing up to check out this lake.

Bachalpsee is one of the most spectacular lakes in Switzerland and probably one of the most incredible lakes you will find on a hike near Interlaken. It’s relatively easy to get there with the cable car or you can refer to an earlier hike on this list: Schynige Platte to First if you want to take the long adventurous route.

After the cable car to First, the hike from First to Bachalpsee was 3km one way and you will need to hike back so 6km in total.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: HIKING TO LAKE BACHALPSEE FROM GRINDELWALD/FIRST

 

SEILPARK INTERLAKEN CLIMBING COURSE

This incredible adventure park in Interlaken is a magical forest playground with Tarzan swings, zip lines, wooden bridges and rope ladders that will have the whole family enjoying the challenge. The park has offerings for beginners and adrenaline-seekers on what promises to be a great Interlaken day trip.

The adventure park has nine coursesand more than 120 challenges to keep you busy. It’s Swiss so you know the safety standards are incredibly high so you can enjoy the challenges without having to worry about anything. This promises to be an exciting day out for everyone and it’s one of the most comprehensive adventure parks in Switzerland!

Click to book this activity now: Seilpark Interlaken Climbing Ticket

 

AUGSTMATTHORN HIKE FROM HARDER KULM

Augstmatthorn is one of the most spectacular summits along the Hardergrat Ridge. It’s famous not only for the stunning views but for the Ibex colony that calls Augstmatthorn home. There are several ways to reach Augstmatthorn but the most popular route is to begin at Harder Kulm and walk along the ridge to the summit.

The view up at Augstmatthorn with the clouds beneath us was just incredible. We could see all the way down the Hardergrat ridge, had epic views of Brienzersee and beyond. The Ibex colony was hanging around without oo much care for us as hikers and it was pretty magical to watch these amazing creatures in such an epic location. This hiking trail is up there as one of the top hikes in Interlaken for me!

The hike distance from Harder Kulm to Augstmatthorn and then down to Habkern is 16-kilometers. From Habkern you then catch the bus back to your destination. If you plan to do an out and back from Harder Kulm, you should leave quite early in the day to make sure you catch the last train down from Harder Kulm to Interlaken.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: AUGSTMATTHORN HIKE FROM HARDER KULM

 

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN INTERLAKEN FOR ALL BUDGETS

Interlaken, nestled between two lakes (Thun and Brienz) in the center of Switzerland, is encompassed by natural beauty and stunning scenery. It is the adventure capital of Europe making it a popular area for adrenaline junkies and excursionists alike. It is surrounded by magnificent hiking spots and it’s an excellent base camp for those who want to explore the Bernese Alps such as Eiger, Moench, and Jungfrau. It’s also a hotspot for paragliding and you can watch them landing in the common lawn every day.

I actually based in Interlaken for two weeks as I found it less touristy than Grindelwald and Murren but I still had access to both of those towns within 1-hour on the train for any hikes or visits I wanted to make. Interlaken is the most practical base in all of Switzerland.

 

Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa (Luxury): This 5-star hotel in Interlaken is by far the best among all places to stay in Switzerland. It offers 216 lavish and elegant suites blended with modern and archaic interior furnishings. The location is ideally set between two lakes making the place serene and relaxing. You literally open your balcony and can see the glacial mountains in the distance.

With outstanding service, excellent staff, and an insane view of Jungfrau mountains, who wouldn’t want to stay in this hotel? It also features a huge swimming pool and an enticing spa with various health treatments. There are two restaurants on-site, one of which offers delicious French cuisines. If you’re traveling to Interlaken for business, this hotel provides a lot of conference rooms for business travelers. This is definitely the top luxury hotel in Interlaken and I highly recommend it!

Click Here to check the best current rates and availability of Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa.

 

Hotel Interlaken (Value): Since 1941, Hotel Interlaken has taken pride in providing the best service to its guests. This 4-star hotel has been renovated offering modern-style rooms with a Swiss charm. The highlight is the location as it is in the core of Interlaken and only six mutes away from the railway station on foot. It is also next to the Japanese Garden. The staff is very hospitable and rooms have ample space with balconies giving every guest beautiful views of the Jungfrau mountains. You can bring your pet at no cost and it is family-friendly. The complimentary buffet is one of the top-rated in all of Interlaken. This hotel is the perfect accommodation for families, couples, and even solo travelers.  

Click Here to check the best current rates and availability of Hotel Interlaken.

 

Interlaken Youth Hostel (Budget): Interlaken Youth Hostel is the most popular budget accommodation in Interlaken. Due to its proximity to the train station and reasonable rate, guests will fall in love with this property. This hostel is an excellent base for budget-conscious who want to explore Interlaken and trust me there is a lot to explore! In the summer, guests can enjoy activities including hiking and paragliding whereas skiing can be enjoyed in the wintertime. The hostel staff is extremely helpful in giving advice on what activities guests can do in each season. If you are anxious about leaving your luggage, worry no more as the hostel provides free luggage storage. 

Click Here to check the best current rates and availability of Interlaken Youth Hostel.

 

INTERLAKEN IN THE WINTER VS. INTERLAKEN IN THE SUMMER

When it comes to thinking about which is the best season for travel in Interlaken there are pros and cons to either season but ultimately they are both great for travel in this region. Many major attractions are set up for use in both seasons like the Schilthorn or the Jungfrau summit viewpoints but the Harder Kulm viewpoint is not open as the Harderbahn doesn’t operate during the winter.

If you are into hiking, I would advise you to visit before the snow hits as many of the trails do close in the winter due to safety. Some trails like Hardergrat have not even suggested during rain let alone snow so if you are expecting to have all of the trains open then make sure you visit Interlaken during the summer. 

 I visited in the summer and it is an awesome experience being up in the mountains. I was lucky enough to be in Interlaken during the first snowfall so I actually experienced places like Schynige Platte when the mountains were green and then a month later when they were covered in snow. You can still hike in the early snow in many places but it becomes a bit more complex and you need certain specialty gear and experience.

 

HOW TO GET TO INTERLAKEN

The train from Zurich takes just under two hours to reach Lauterbrunnen. You will transfer in Bern and Interlaken Ost. You can purchase your ticket at the station but I suggest having a Swiss Travel Pass (I used the Flexible option) or Swiss Half-Fare Pass to save money on trains throughout your Switzerland Vacation.

 

I hope you enjoyed this Interlaken travel guide with all of the best things to do in Interlaken. If there are any things to do in Interlaken you think I need to check out on my next visit, please comment them below!

MY SWITZERLAND HIKING GUIDES

I spent 100 days hiking in Switzerland and created a guide for different regions around the country. You can click on one of my Switzerland hiking guides below to help you plan your trip.

THE SWITZERLAND HIKING GUIDE: 50 AWESOME HIKES IN IN SWITZERLAND: I spent 100 days in Switzerland making this huge guide with all of the hikes I personally explored.

4 AWESOME VIA FERRATA COURSES IN SWITZERLAND: Via Ferrata is a cliff-side climbing route where you are harnessed in. You have to try it at least once!

10 AWESOME HIKES NEAR LAUTERBRUNNEN: Lauterbrunnen is the most picturesque valley in Switzerland and is situated perfectly amidst many famous hiking routes.

INTERLAKEN HIKING GUIDE: 15 AWESOME HIKES IN INTERLAKEN: Interlaken is my favorite town in Switzerland and is the number one hiking base.

12 AWESOME HIKES NEAR GRINDELWALD: A great location to base if you are a keen hiker with lots of hut-to-hut hikes and epic peaks.

7 AWESOME HIKES IN MURREN: Murren is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland and is surrounded by great hiking routes.

9 AWESOME HIKES NEAR APPENZELL: My favorite hikes around the Alpstein Region and other peaks near Appenzell.

7 AWESOME HIKES NEAR CHUR: Several beautiful lakes, and incredible gorge hike, and an epic Via Ferrata course.

MY PERSONALIZED SWITZERLAND TRAVEL TIPS

SWITZERLAND BUDGET BACKPACKING GUIDE: In this blog, I talk about the cost of travel and how to travel around Switzerland on the cheap with some tips and hacks from my experience.

20 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: MY SWITZERLAND TRAVEL TIPS: You probably didn’t even think of half of these. I didn’t either and figured many of these tips out the hard way.

MOST IMPORTANT TRANSPORT TIP: SWISS HALF CARD

OPTION 1: Switzerland trains, buses, and cable cars are EXPENSIVE! I found the best way to get around cheaply was to buy the Swiss Half-Fare Card before I arrived. It gives you 50% off every regular train, bus, and even many cable cars. It only costs $150 USD but pays itself off in just a few days with many train tickets in Switzerland costing close to $100 alone. OPTION 2: The second option is to get the Swiss Travel Pass, which gives you unlimited train, bus, and (many) cable car rides but it’s pretty expensive at around $100 USD per day so if you don’t travel each day it isn’t worth it. OPTION 3: The final option is to get the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass, which allows you to buy 8 days’ worth of transit but you can choose the night before if you want to activate the next day. That way you don’t need to travel every day to get your money’s worth, you can just activate the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass on the days where you are doing sizeable transits. My advice is to book the Swiss Half-Fare Card or the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass in advance before your trip so it’s ready to go when you arrive.

Blog Comments

  1. We have been coming to Interlaken, Grindelwald and the Lauterbrunnen Valley for more than ten years, and I must say your recommendations are excellent, varied and spot on, and your descriptions are perfect. Thanks for the great work!

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